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Life and soccer were a bad mix this weekend

Written By: Terry Foster | May 14, 2012

Filed Under: Family

There were two bad incidents on the soccer pitch this weekend and I would love to hear your thoughts on them.

Of course I will tell you mine.

1. Celine’s soccer team beat a team 5-0 in the Novi Jaguars Tournament and there was controversy at the end. The backup coach left early in the second half because he had a long day and the game was decided a long time ago. He asked me and another parent to monitor the team. We did. After the game I said congrats to the team and when I saw how frizzed Celine’s hair was I quipped “that a sparrow could live in your hair.” It looked like a bird’s nest and the girls laughed.

During the team hand shake of our girls said to the coach. “Good coaching.”

He went off. He said our team was disrespectful because of her comment. And that we were mocking and making fun of his team. He said he did not appreciate us laughing at them. I stepped in and told him we were not laughing at his team. He would have none of it and after screaming at the other parent, he stalked off and talked to his team.

The girl said she tells coaches good coaching after games because he did not actually play so instead of saying good game, she said good coaching.

Did she break an unwritten rule? Did we break protocol? Or was this coach just pissed about losing?

Incident two.

Brandon missed his soccer game to participate in the math pentathlon. I’ve always told my wife Abs that if he does not play games could get out of hand. Well this game did and parents were dogging the non paid volunteer coach during the game. Basically they said he could not coach and that he did not play their sons long enough or the right way.

He is a volunteer coach. He does not get paid. He puts his own time and money into it. I know I don’t have time to do what he does so I keep my mouth shut and congratulate the team win or lose after games. There are things he could do differently and I only know after watching Celine’s games. But it is his show and I believe a parent should be a parent and a coach a coach. And the dude works hard.

Question. Were the parents out of line talking about the guy? And is my approach of just letting him do his thing the right approach? Should I offer advice although I am not a soccer coach or an expert on the game?

Other than that we had a good weekend. Celine’s team won their division. Brandon did not do well in the math pentathlon but he learned some valuable lessons.

 

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8 Responses to “Life and soccer were a bad mix this weekend”

  1. Diane Says:

    Terry, I have been involved in club soccer for 12 years. As a parent.
    With only the rare exception, I find that the coaches who do this for a living are children.
    And that’s how they behave. We spend a lot of time in our home using them as an example of how not to behave. It seems to be a trade off–better tactical and skills learning at the expense of appropriate behavior. Parent coaches usually exhibit professionalism and, importantly, perspective. Career coaches, not so much. Good luck. (love you and Mike)

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  2. Bob Says:

    Issue one is all on the opposing coach, sounds like someone takes winning and losing a little too serious to over-react like that.

    Issue two is the time honored tradition of parents ruining youth sports – get use to it. Everyone wants or thinks their kids is a superstar, never mind team play I want little Billy to play the whole game! Funny though, if your sons team had won then there would likely not have been a single complaint.

    To all the inexperienced coaches out there all I can say is dont pick your team strictly on talent, take the parents into consideration as well!!

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  3. Mike Says:

    Terry, the way I see it, the other coach, in the midst of competition, lost sight of the fact that young athletes actually make innocent, sincere gestures. Though it’s a good lesson for the girl that words can be so easily misconstrued.

    About the second issue. I know the coach is unpaid, but if you and the other parents ARE paying for your kids to play, I don’t find it completely out of line to offer a suggestion. His volunteer status might ensure he doesn’t let his ego get in the way from putting your kids in the best position to have fun, learn about the game, and hopefully be successful.

    Granted, I’m only 22, but I was a kid not too long ago. I get it.
    Love ya man.

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  4. Bret Says:

    He is a volunteer, if the parents don’t like his methods set up and volunteer.

    The paid coach should have stayed, he is PAID.

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  5. Jason Says:

    In my opinion no one was really out of line. The parents are always going to talk. As long as they are not taking cheep shots at his expence that is just fine. The coach sounds like he is a bit misguided in his approach, but that isn’t the end of the world. As long as he is teaching the kids fundamentals, teamwork, and other soccer basics he is fine. Ciline’s team deserves to oppropriately celebrate a victory, and that sounds like what happened. The coach puts in a bunch of his own time, and that is to be commended. I just hope his team is enjoying soccer, and he is having the appropriate conversations with them in the loss.

    I think you did what you should have in the moment. If you do decide to offer advice I would recommend doing it at a practice or at least not on game day. The coach sounds like his heart is in the right place, so it migh t not be that bad of a conversation.

    Well done

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  6. Greg Says:

    Wow, brings back memories! I’ve Coached soccer and hockey for years; and. Its funny how parents that don’t want to volunteer time, sure like to volunteer their opinipns! First incident, the opposing coach was way out of line; seems he forgot he was there to teach good sportsmanship. The young lady was being very gracious and should not be made to feel bad about her friendly comment. Second issue, there should always be a 24 hour rule impossed on all sports. Never approach a coach with an issue before 24 hours. This allows the coach to calm down and the parents to remove the emotion from their complaints/suggestions. Good luck with your daughters soccer future; I am proud to say I’ve got 2 girls at D1 schools on full ride soccer scholarships! Fel free to email me for any advice. Gman

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  7. Steve Says:

    I’m not a parent, but I have played soccer for about 20 years.

    On the first issue, there was nothing wrong done on the side of your girls’ team. Joking and having fun are all part of the experience of playing youth sports to begin with! The opposing coach was way out of line to get so upset and given the final score, he was probably frustrated with the outcome of the game. Coaches need to understand that in youth sports, they are also being mentors and role models. Bad form by that coach.

    On the second issue about the volunteer coach. DO NOT say anything to the coach to critique the job he is doing. As a long time player and after seeing many situations similar to this, coaches HATE being told what to do from parents. Parents will always have pride and ego at the heart of their argument, and don’t see how the team practices or works from day to day. You could talk to him, see if he could use a hand with anything, or just discuss the game and see if the conversation goes somewhere; but do not given advice on how to run the team to a coach, paid of unpaid.

    Reply

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